“The Green Party will vigorously defend any case of defamation brought by Colin Craig because we believe in the freedom of political speech and we believe in an inclusive and tolerant society,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.
“The freedom of political speech and an inclusive and tolerant society are core values of the Green Party. We don’t roll over on those values just because someone with deep pockets sets their lawyer on us.
“Colin Craig hasn’t actually said he is filing a defamation case, despite setting himself a deadline of today to do so.
“Today’s announcement that Mr Craig is instructing his lawyers to look into the matter further is far from a conclusive decision to pursue a defamation case.
“Maybe it would be better if Mr Craig chose to quietly climb out of the legal hole he has dug for himself and give up on this misguided action.
“It feels like Colin Craig is attempting to gag people who disagree with him. Differing views are part and parcel of politics. Maybe Colin Craig just isn’t suited for this line of work.
“Colin Craig claims he wants to raise the standard of political debate, while labelling gay relationships abnormal and describing his political opponents as having a mental illness. I think those views lower the tone.
“John Key is planning on gifting Colin Craig an electorate seat in a dirty deal arrangement. The real question is does John Key back Colin Craig’s statements and actions?
“Mr Craig’s statements and action give us a taste of what a John Key/Colin Craig Government would be like in terms of stifling political disagreement. You can’t bring your lawyers to parliament every day.
“The Green Party is proud of the work we have done to extend rights and freedoms for women and the gay community. We will continue to stand up for a tolerant and inclusive society.”